AUSTIN -- For the week ending April 19, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly $4 lower to $4 higher per hundredweight (cwt) compared to their previous sale. Heavier cattle and weaned, preconditioned offerings posted the largest increases, with prices as much as $9 higher at a few locations. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were mostly steady. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were $1 lower. Wholesale beef values were higher.
Cotton prices were higher for the week due to concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas Plains, strong export shipments, and continued economic growth in China. However, the large world cotton supplies continued to limit gains.
Wheat prices were higher amid concerns about the dry conditions in winter wheat areas, poor planting conditions in spring wheat areas, possible freeze damage early in the week, and the continued turmoil in Ukraine.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower due to weak export data, forecasts for improved planting conditions, and ample current corn supplies.
Most of the state recorded rainfall last week, with totals of one-half inch or more common in North Texas, the Trans-Pecos, the Upper Coast, and East-Central Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed little change in overall conditions in Texas, with 82 percent of the state still rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought. However, the percentage in the worst category of exceptional drought increased by three points to 10 percent, all in the High Plains and Northwest Texas. Much of East and South Texas and the Trans-Pecos remain drought-free.
Nationally, conditions improved somewhat with 49 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down 1 percentage point from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending April 19:
•Feeder steers, $176.65/cwt
•Fed cattle, $145.82/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $170/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $207.50/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.80/cwt
•Cabbage, $6.50/50 lbs
•Onions, $15.00/40 lbs
•Pine Saw Logs, $192.67/1000 bd. ft.
•Pine Pulpwood, $7.76/ton
•Feeder cattle, $178.55/cwt
•Fed cattle, $144.20/cwt
•Corn, $4.95 /bu
•Lumber, $329.70/1000 bd ft.
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Market News program and do not reflect any particular sale at any specific location. Feeder cattle prices are for Texas direct sales of 650-850 pound medium and large No.1 steers for current delivery. Futures prices are quoted for the nearest month contract on the last trading day of the week. Timber prices are from the Texas A&M Forest Service, bimonthly “Texas Timber Price Trends.” For additional information, contact the Texas Department of Agriculture at 800-835-5832 or visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.